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Hello all! As a way of introducing myself, I thought I'd tell the story of the first three winter steelhead that I caught.

fish #1) Armed with my trusty Mitchell 300 spinning reel and my Eagle Claw fiberglass pack rod, I was exploring the NF Alsea back in March 1980 during my first trip ever for steelhead. I had been told that a pearl corkie was the thing to use so I had been using (and losing) many of them for most of the afternoon. I made an upstream cast and was letting the corkie drift towards me when I hung up again (ugh) I reeled up the slack so that I could break it off but found that I couldn't get a tight line on this particular rock. It was almost as if it was moving around. I didn't figure out what was going on until the fish jumped clear of the water! Somehow I managed to land it without mishap! I was elated because I had heard tales of the need to spend several years trying before you actually catch one.

Fish #2) Reality has set in because now it is April 1983 and I have had a 3 year fishless drought! All has not been in vain though because my family learned of my interest in steelhead and has bought me a Shimano Bantam 200 baitcasting reel and a Blue Diamond (is it Eagle Claw?) graphite rod. I was fishing on the Siletz this time with a spinner. As my spinner swung through a tailout and across the river, I saw a dark shape following it. Steelhead! The fish followed it as I reeled it in and stopped about five feet downstream from me. He (it was a male) waited patiently as I reeled in and made a small flip cast straight downstream to him. He then cooperatively grapped the spinner and put up a decent fight before I landed him.

fish #3) It is now December 1983 and I am once again fishing a spinner (hey it worked once!) on the Wilson River. The water is low and clear and there is a light dusting of snow on the rocks. My spinner is swinging undisturbed through a medium depth hole when suddenly a fish has it and is swimming around erratically. The line goes slack as the fish rushes towards me and after some frantic reeling I have it tight again. Now however, the fish feels like a sodden log and as I reel in I see that it is coming in belly first! When I get it to the beach I find that the line is wrapped once around the fish's middle, and then passes against the gap in one of the spinner's treble hooks, making a perfect slip knot! The best I can figure is that the unlucky fish had tangled itself in the line and spit out the spinner only to have it catch on the line already tangled around it's body!

Hope these stories brought back some memories of your own!

Whitey
 

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WM, now that you're part of the group the fishless years are behind you. :laugh: Just learn all you can and be inquisitive and you'll find out what a great bunch of helpful people you've become a part of. Welcome to Ifish! :cheers:
 
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